A Complete Guide to The Best Food in the Czech Republic

Typical Czech Food

Prague is renowned for its cuisine, which combines traditional Central European dishes with local Bohemian flavors, and one of the most iconic Czech foods is the Trdelnik.

Czech cuisine is known for its hearty and flavorful dishes. Two of the most popular dishes are svíčková na smetaně, a braised beef in cream sauce, and roasted duck. Both dishes are often served with dumplings and a variety of side dishes, such as potato salad, rajská omáčka (tomato sauce), raw eggs and boiled eggs.

Historical development of the Czech cuisine

Czech cuisine
Czech cuisine

Let’s just be honest: you probably didn’t come all the way to Prague for the Italian food. You’re craving the finest examples of authentic Czech cuisine, and you want them now.

But where exactly can you find the traditional Czech dishes that everyone raves about? Read on to find out.

Think of Czech food culture as a mixture of Celtic and Slavic cultures and traditions. The Czech were mainly farmers and hunters, so it made sense that starches and meats will make up most of their dishes. The bread was also a staple and eaten with cheese and buttermilk. The bread was mainly made out of millet, millet, and rye. Old Czech meals also consisted of buckwheat, pear, grains, legumes, and plums.

Also, historians note differences in table manners between Czechs in the earlier centuries and now. For instance, the wealthy ate more meals in a day than the typical three-meal plan a modern family will stick to. They had breakfast, mid-morning meals, lunch, snacks, and dinner, all of which had many courses in one meal. On the other hand, the lower class and rural people mostly had one meal in the evenings after a long day of working in the fields. However, these meals were ample sized.

 Czech food culture in the world

It is not a rumour that the Czech Republic is the beer district of the world. The Czechs produce arguably the best beer in the world. Unlike other countries that prefer water or a soft drink to have their meal, Czechs prefer beer with their food. Beer is available everywhere, from restaurants to coffee shops. You can legally purchase a bottle as long as you are of the legal drinking age.

 Interestingly, traditional Czech cooking isn’t elaborate but pretty much makes do with the food ingredients you have in hand. However, the fundamentals of an outstanding Czech cuisine include high-quality food ingredients and strictly following a recipe. Also, Czech cooks love making things from scratch. You will often see them drying fruits and making homemade marmalade and jam.

Czech food culture

How to say food in Czech? Jídlo.

Few countries can boast of rich food culture like the Czechs. The Czech food culture consists of cuisines and culinary history we can trace it back to the 6th century. In fact, many Czech dishes are not original but have German, Austrian, and Hungarian influences. You will find that having a meal with friends and family isn’t just about eating but a culinary ritual.  A typical Czech cuisine is heavy, fatty, and mainly meats and starches. Granted the country has always relied on cattle farming, agriculture, etc. But Czech cuisine is far from boring. Every traditional dish is filling and absolutely delicious.

Czech Soups

Czech soups
Czech soups

If we’re going to talk about Czech cuisine, we have to talk about Czech soups.

Czechs often say, “Soup is the basis.” Moreover, you ought to give them due consideration. A hearty soup can often serve as the main course instead. Rather than using a traditional bowl, some eateries will serve soup in a loaf of bread.

A thick soup called “Kulajda” is made with mushrooms, potatoes, sour cream, and eggs.

Garlic-flavoured “esneka” soup is traditionally paired with toasted bread and melted cheese. As a bonus, this soup is widely used to cure hangovers.

Potato, carrot, celery, mushroom, garlic, and marjoram are the main ingredients in “Bramboraka” soup.

What is traditional Czech food?

Here is a list of traditional Czech food, a taste of Czech cuisine, and must-try Czech food. Whether you are eating at a local pub or in a fancy restaurant in Prague, you will find this guide useful if you want to try some typical Czech foods.

Czech food specialities

Bramboraky


Ⓒtoprecepty.cz
toprecepty.cz

Delicious, surprisingly simple, and stuffed to the gills with garlic and marjoram. Let’s have a talk about bramboráky, those well-known potato pancakes in the Czech Republic. No Czech that I know of wouldn’t enjoy them. And it’s impossible to have just one.

The Czech dish known as bramborak is a pancake made from shredded potato. 

Things to remember

  • You can trust that these potato pancakes will not fall apart while frying thanks to the egg, flour, and hot milk which also give the pancake a perfect texture.
  • You can use either pork lard or vegetable oil to fry bramboraky pancakes in a frying pan.

Ingredients include

Uncooked shredded potatoes, plenty of garlic, marjoram, egg, flour, and hot milk

Svíčková

Svíčková
Svíčková

Svíčková is an integral part of the Czech food culture. It is a famous Czech Sunday family dish favourite amongst many tourists and foreigners. It is a simple dish consisting of sirloin beef braised in cream sauce and typically served with bread dumplings. You can also garnish this meal with lemon, cranberries, and whipped cream, but this is optional.

Furthermore, follow the recipe for preparing Svíčková to the last detail else your result will be anything but Svíčková.

Here are two key ingredients and steps to remember

  • Thicken your sauce with Roux. Using any other thickening agent will not give you the desired result.
  • Saute your diced vegetables with butter and season them with salt, sugar, and vinegar.

Must-have ingredients

Beef, bacon, vegetables( carrots, celery, onions), heavy cream, lemon juice, Roux (flour and unsalted butter)

Poppy Seed Roll

momsdish.com
momsdish.com

Do you consider yourself a poppy seeds lover? If that’s the case, I have a fantastic dish for you to try! Everyone who tries this Old Bohemian poppyseed roll will be in awe of how delicious it is.

The sweet pastry known as the Czech poppy seed roll is produced with yeast dough that is stuffed with poppyseed filling and then shaped into a loaf. After the roll has baked, it is coated with powdered sugar and then sliced. It’s perfect for morning breakfast on the go.

Must have ingredients for Poppy seed roll

Flour for all purposes

lukewarm milk

Unsalted butter, melted at room temperature, granulated sugar

a pinch of salt and egg vanilla paste , and dry active yeast;

Knedlo Zelo Vepro

Knedlo Zelo Vepro
Knedlo Zelo Vepro

It is everything you will imagine a comfort food to be savoury, warm, and full of flavorful gravy. Many Czechs consider Vepřo knedlo zelo as the national dish. It consists of roast pork, dumplings, and Sauerkraut (fermented cabbage). Although you can use any part of pork, the Czechs typically use pork neck for the dish. Marinate the pork in spices, onions, and garlic (preferably a day before), roast in the oven, and save the braising liquid to serve. It is simple, finger-licking, and hard to get wrong. You can switch the dumplings with potatoes. Enjoy your meal with a cold bottle of beer.

Must-have ingredients for the roast pork

pork neck, vegetable oil, caraway seeds, butter, ground black pepper

Must-have ingredients for dumpling

dry yeast, flour, eggs, salt, sugar, warm water

Must-have ingredients for Sauerkraut

bacon, onions, caraway seeds, cornstarch, vinegar, salt, sugar, cold water, pepper

Koprovka

Koprovka
Koprovka

Koprovka is the Czech version of dill sauce. It is a delicious sweet-sour sauce usually accompanied by potatoes or dumplings. Making Koprovka is easy if you follow the proper steps. You can use Koprovka as a dipping sauce for almost anything.

Things to note

  • Your Roux should not be brown but golden.
  • Add the dill at the end.

Must-have ingredients for Koprovka

Beef broth, Fresh dill, Vinegar, Salt, heavy cream

The best places to try the Czech cuisine in Prague

As in any country, there are thousands of restaurants to visit. However, which ones are guaranteed to give you the best of these dishes? Well, we’ve narrowed the long list down for you. So, here are some Prague restaurants that will have you emptying your pockets in seconds.

Krčma

ⒸKrčma in Prague
ⒸKrčma in Prague

Krčma serves some of the most delicious Czech cuisines, which is pretty affordable. The restaurant has a warm and cosy ambience, and it is a great place to have a delicious plate of svíčková with friends and family.

4.0 rating
4/5
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Good

Café Savoy

ⒸCafé Savoy in Prague
ⒸCafé Savoy in Prague

Cafe Savoy serves breakfast daily and has lunch and dinner menus that feature delicious Czech dishes and French cuisine.

You can enjoy classic Czech desserts with friends and family on a hot afternoon. Don’t forget to order the dark chocolate marzipan Savoy cake. It is delicious!

The fruit dumplings here are unmatched.

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4/5
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Eska

ⒸEska

Restaurant-goers in the Karlin suburb can’t go wrong at Eska. The converted factory that now houses this bakery and cafe feels like home. 

Beautiful, freshly baked bread is the big thing. An interesting menu of Czech cuisine results from fresh, locally sourced ingredients, freshly picked goodies, and fascinating fermentation.

Those in search of truly memorable dining experiences will find their match in Eska’s menu. The smoked carp, crisped egg yolk, and kefir in ash mixed with potatoes is a visual and gustatory delight. Smoky flavor is subtle, but it complements the smooth kefir perfectly.

4.0 rating
4/5
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Good

Čestr

ⒸČestr
ⒸČestr

In the downtown district, beside the horse-riding monument of Saint Wenceslas, you’ll find Čestr, a high-end steakhouse with a stunning interior design. It highlights traditional Czech breeds like the Fleckvieh cattle and Petk pig. 

The eatery is an architectural and culinary tour de force of the modern era. The open kitchen and trendy urban decor make it feel like you’re eating in a friend’s stylish downtown loft.

Deliciousness incarnate: smoked tri-tip and mushroom sauce atop a bed of pureed potatoes. It’s like a divine manifestation of the tastiest traditional Czech dish your grandmother ever made. Braised beef is tender and flavorful.

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Lokal

ⒸLokal
ⒸLokal

Having a good meal out with friends can be exactly what the doctor ordered when you need to get away from the house. Across the city, you may find the Lokal pub chain.

It’s a fun place to hang out with delicious Pilsner Urquell and small meals that are perfect for sharing.

Pilsner Urquell pairs well with traditional Czech fares like ham with whipped horseradish, frankfurter sausages doused in mustard, fried cheese, and onions. The simple preparation of these classic dishes allows the alcohol and conversation to take the spotlight.

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Havelská koruna Restaurant

ⒸHavelská koruna Restaurant
ⒸHavelská koruna Restaurant

Havelská Koruna is an eatery in Prague that serves authentic Czech food. The extensive menu is unmatched not just in Prague but throughout all of the Czech Republic. Each day, there are at least forty distinct menu options for the patrons. The 25 items on the daily menu are all staples of authentic Czech cuisine.

Come here to eat like a native! The Rajska Omaka sauce they serve is delicious.

4.0 rating
4/5
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Baránická rychta (TEMPORARILY CLOSED)

ⒸBaránická rychta
ⒸBaránická rychta

This eatery is the place to go if you want to try Czech food for the first time. Delicious meat goulash, duck leg, potato soup, sauerkraut and dumplings are available here. Savor the delightful sweetness of traditional Czech sweet dishes, where the velvety touch of melted butter adds a delectable richness to every bite: delicious apple strudels, blueberry pancakes, and che are on the menu. The greatest drinks at this bar are the outstanding lager, cordial, and draft beer. Stop by for some refreshing lemonade, Expresso, or tea.

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Try the Flavors of Prague: A Food Tour through the Heart of the City

Intriguing Prague Culinary and Cultural Tour

Join Vladimir and Ursa, two native Czechs who know their way around the city’s culinary scene, for a Prague cuisine and cultural tour that will take you to the city’s best, most local restaurants. They will lead you away from the crowds and into the sublime’s presence in a way you will never forget.

This excursion aims to introduce you to some of Prague’s best-kept culinary secrets in an intimate setting. Chat with chefs and winery bar owners in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere at their more hidden establishments.

Highlights

  • Get a feel for the area through the eyes of a native
  • Go to some fantastic eateries and check out some cool bars and delis.
  • Meet at Malostranske Namesti 5
  • Starting at € 110/per person
  • There is no penalty for canceling within 24 hours
  • The tour will last 5 hours.
  • Learn the background of numerous dishes, sweets, and drinks while sampling them.
  • You’ll get the inside scoop on Prague’s best activities and attractions from a native.
  • Get to know the chefs and bar owners in a relaxed and comfortable setting at their more hidden caches.

Includes

  • English-speaking tour guide.
  • Everything from food and drink to sweets and secret tips

Experience a medieval-themed dinner with unlimited drinks

You could spend an evening in Prague enjoying a 3 to 5-course meal in a medieval setting. Accompanied by unlimited drinks, you can also enjoy medieval performances from various stuntmen which include swordsmen, jugglers, and belly dancers. 

This experience is intended to portray what dining in Prague felt like in the medieval ages. Various fun experiences have been lined up to make you feel as if you just randomly took a ride over 400 years into the past. This medieval performance lasts for a total of 2.5 hours and you cannot afford to miss just a minute of it.

You also get to choose your meal from a menu that includes over 6 meals. The 3-course meal is taken at an earlier time, so you get to fill your belly later on with unlimited beer, soft drinks, and wine. 

Highlights

  • 2.5 hours of pure medieval performances
  • 3 to 5-course meals accompanied by unlimited drinks
  • Choose your meal from a menu of over 6 meals
  • Medieval themed restaurant

Includes

  • Stuntmen performances from swordsmen, jugglers, belly dancers, and more.
  • Mildly priced ticket

Vltava River night cruise with buffet

This 3-hour Vltava boat cruise is another activity you cannot afford to miss. This fun-packed activity allows you to fully appreciate various historic monuments and landmarks that are often illuminated after dark. This includes Prague Castle as well as the Dancing House on the Rašínovo embankment. You also get to select your pick of the variety of Czech meals on board.

You can start your evening boat cruise from the Old Town sailing from the Cechuv bridge and then calmly sail towards the Charles bridge. 

While on this cruise, you get to enjoy a carefully selected buffet menu that could either be warm or cold. The cold buffet menu includes an interesting selection of bread and butter, Grana Padano, and Duck pâté with cranberry sauce. The warm buffet menu includes Whole ham with bone, Beef goulash, Chicken schnitzels, and more. You also have the option to select from a variety of soups, desserts, and side dishes to go with your meal.

Highlights

  • Discover the beauty of Prague monuments when illuminated with colorful lights at night.
  • A 3-hour boat cruise experience
  • Choose your preference from a variety of buffets available
  • Relax, chill and listen to live music as you enjoy your boat tour

Includes

  • An evening cruise on the Vltava river 
  • Mildly priced ticket
  • Music performance from a live band

Experience the Mozart Ballroom Concert with a 3-course meal

The Mozart ballroom promises you a thrilling opera performance accompanied by some of the best Czech delicacies you’ve ever heard of. You get to relish a specially prepared 3-course meal while listening to some of Mozart’s greatest operas at the historic Boccaccio hall in Old Town Prague.

The 2.5 hour performance features 2 opera singers from Czech opera houses and instrumentalists from the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra all dressed in historic attires to add more color to the performance. Some of the most interesting Mozart composed operas you get to experience includes famous arias and duets such as the world renowned Marriage of Figaro, The Magic Flute as well as Don Giovanni.

The entire performance is divided into 3 sections, with each segment lasting for 20 minutes after which a meal is served. The first section is immediately accompanied by the first course of the meal, then after the second musical segment is performed, the main course meal is served. Dessert is then served immediately after the third segment of the performance.

The Czech-Austrian meal served is inspired by recipes from  Czech and Austrian cuisines. Also, the all inclusive ballroom dinner includes special meals designed to cater for vegetarians as well as children. Everyone gets to fully enjoy their 3-course meal while reminiscing about what life must have felt like in the Mozart era.

Highlights

  • 2.5 hour long Mozart Opera performance
  • An all inclusive 3-course meal prepared by some of the best chefs around
  • Experience a live opera performance in a neo-baroque setting
  • Czech and Austrian cuisines

Includes

  • Moderately priced entry ticket
  • A fun filled evening
  • Experience the best of Czech and Austrian cuisines
  • Live opera performance in the historic Boccaccio hall

So go ahead and eat up!

The Czech cuisine is an important part of the nation’s culture, which means you’ll never be far from an excellent meal. From traditional meats and stews to delectable pastries, Czech food will never leave you wanting more. And if you’re looking for a modern take on classic dishes, there’s plenty of that too. Whatever your tastes, we can promise that the Czech Republic has something for you.

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